Will Shaw U’s Rezoned Land Be Claimed By Republican Legislators?

Tashni Ann Dubroy, Richard Burr & Clarenda Stanley Anderson
(from l to r) Tashni Dubroy, Senator Richard Burr and Clarenda Stanley Anderson

If you know anything about real estate, the best way to sell a house is to empty it out. There appears to be a clearinghouse as it relates to Shaw University faculty, staff and students. At least twenty employees were fired in less than year, including three recruiters. One professor was terminated and escorted out during class as students watched in horror. Two top financial aid counselors quit and long time faculty and staff coincidentally retired. Although one terminated recruiter (an ’85 Shaw alum) was granted permission to use a university vehicle to take her belongings home, a warrant was issued for her arrest regarding the use of that vehicle; meanwhile the university officer who allowed her to use the vehicle as a courtesy was terminated.

Shaw’s act of cleaning house is happening at the same time as legislators from Raleigh seek 300,000 square feet of space for their new downtown campus. There are already several proposed plans that have been designed bordering the campus of Shaw University. (Click HERE to read minutes from City Council Meeting. References to Shaw University begin on page 2)

In previous months developer and Republican, donor Art Pope toured the campus. Yes. The SAME Art Pope who has been seeking cuts in the UNC higher ed system. ) (Click HERE for a very interesting article titled, Art pope and the Threat to NC Higher Ed) In recent days, Republican Senator Richard Burr posed with President DuBroy and VP of Institutional Advancement Clarenda Stanley-Anderson in the above image. On Thursday, May 23rd, Burr said he will block President Obama’s nomination of Patricia Timmons-Goodson to fill a vacancy on the Federal Court bench in Eastern North Carolina. Why are these people suddenly interested in conversing with people associated with Shaw University? 

As per the Raleigh News & Observer, “In 2013, Obama announced his plans to nominate Jennifer May-Parker, a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District who would have been the first black judge seated” as federal district court judge area. Burr never submitted the necessary “blue slip” that would have pushed her name before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Burr has never explained why he did not submit May-Parker’s name for consideration”. The seat for federal judge in the U.S. Eastern District of North Carolina has not been filled since January 1, 2006. (over ten years)

In August 2015, after Dubroy’s appointment as Shaw’s president, she told The News & Observer that Shaw was in total support of the city’s plans to build a 12 story hotel in Prince Hall’s Historic District. These plans would include

baptist-headquarters-building-1*750xx4000-2250-0-209the demolition of the General Baptist Convention building which is located on the corner of South Wilmington and East Lenoir streets. Dubroy stated that, “Shaw was fully behind this project.”

The Prince Hall District is Raleigh’s first African American and first mixed-use historic district. There is a strong sense of place and history, which has helped to convey the important and often overlooked African American history of Raleigh. Don Davis, a member of the Raleigh Historic Development Commission stated, “We support development…but there’s many other properties the hotel could be.

Minutes from a March 2016 public hearing state that the property Shaw University owns on Blount & South Streets will be rezoned to 4 stories. It also states that the current dormitories on the main campus pose a problem for rezoning as they are too high and too close to the street and therefore should be moved to the center of the campus.  The report states that Shaw University is aware of this but has, “no comment“. Ironically, the report also states that ‘neighbors’ of the McDonald’s restaurant across from Shaw University have been complaining about the the drive through traffic. The problem with this claim is there are only two houses near  McDonalds and they both appear to be unoccupied. Additionally the houses are separated by a fence and the exit of the drive  through actually leads traffic away from the two homes.

Student Issues

Prior to the 2015-16 school year and prior to Tashni DuBroy officially taking over as President, she was allowed to take away scholarships from band students that were already issued. This led to student protests and in turn, a large amount of students decided not to attend Shaw. Others decided to withdraw.  Soon after the band director was suspended (although fully vindicated); an unqualified instructor was brought in, causing the marching band students to receive Fs for the first half of the semester. The drum major took to social media posing the question, “Who can stop the mediocracy at Shaw?”  The band was decimated. Recently the 2016-17 band budget was issued; the budget is down from$525,000 to $200,000. This reduced budget was approved in June; denying Mr. Brown the opportunity to recruit new students. Furthermore, these funds are only to be used for returning students. 

Na'eem Wilkins Facebook Post


For most of the 2015-2016 academic year, students complained of mold and unsanitary conditions in the dorms. Finally in April, a student posted a video on DuBroy’s Facebook page asking if she would take a shower under the same conditions. The comment was promptly removed.  (Click HERE to view actual student submitted video)

Faculty & Staff

Recently faculty and staff were publicly chastised by DuBroy in front of the media as she lectured them about the need to write more grants. This coming from a president who has no solid history of grant writing. The one research project (Jamaica Mon’) DuBroy oversaw, was already established prior to her taking the helm. This public humiliation caused faculty and staff to openly discuss seeking employment elsewhere.

It is ironic that Dubroy is rubbing elbows with Burr. Burr’s inaction is part of the reason judgeships in NC Eastern Federal courts remain unfilled. Republican Senator Burr has blocked President Obama’s nominations while Republican led bills could have possibly closed three other NC HBCUs. Strangely enough, Shaw’s leadership seems to think Burr is on their/our side. Despite the ‘positive’ propaganda that has recently plagued the world wide web about Shaw – we know the truth. There’s a lot to be done. Pretending that these issues don’t exist will not help as other’s view the land in which Shaw sits upon as a goldmine. Where there is unity there is strength. Where there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved and we’ll be able to Save Our Shaw.